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Painful Periods Quiz: What's Your Menstrual Pain IQ?

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Pain during menstruation is "normal."

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Pain during menstruation is "normal."

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most women have some discomfort during their periods, and more than half have some pain for one or two days each month.

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Menstrual pain is considered abnormal "dysmenorrhea" when:

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Menstrual pain is considered abnormal "dysmenorrhea" when:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Menstrual pain so severe that it keeps you from your normal activities is known as “dysmenorrhea." In most cases, it can be treated.

Which of the following is a potential symptom of dysmenorrhea?

Which of the following is a potential symptom of dysmenorrhea?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Potential symptoms of dysmenorrhea include cramps or pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, a "pulling" feeling in the inner thighs, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.

Painful periods are the second leading cause of absences at school or work among women in their teens and 20s.

Painful periods are the second leading cause of absences at school or work among women in their teens and 20s.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

They're not the second leading cause of school and job absences, according to the National Institutes of Health -- they're the leading cause.

Women with painful periods should avoid sex.

Women with painful periods should avoid sex.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

In general, women with painful periods do not need to avoid sex. In fact, orgasms can relieve menstrual cramps in some women. However, there could be specific reasons a certain individual might be advised to avoid sex, so consult your doctor if you have questions.

Painful periods can be caused by endometriosis, a condition that occurs when endometrial tissue, which lines the inside of the uterus, begins to:

Painful periods can be caused by endometriosis, a condition that occurs when endometrial tissue, which lines the inside of the uterus, begins to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

In endometriosis, endometrial tissue forms in other areas in the body, such as on the ovaries, bladder, bowel, or on the outer surface of the uterus. This can lead to scarring within the abdominal cavity and pain.

Painful periods can be caused by fibroids, which are:

Painful periods can be caused by fibroids, which are:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Fibroids can form on the outside, the inside, or in the walls of the uterus, and can cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.

You should see a doctor if you have severe menstrual cramps or cramps that last for:

You should see a doctor if you have severe menstrual cramps or cramps that last for:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends seeing a doctor if you have severe menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days. You also should see a doctor if you have a fever, a foul-smelling, unusual, or increased vaginal discharge, if your period is more than a week late, or if your pain occurs at times other than menstruation. Call your doctor if you recently got an IUD or if you pass blood clots or have other symptoms along with the pain.

You're more likely to experience menstrual cramps or prolonged pain if you:

You're more likely to experience menstrual cramps or prolonged pain if you:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Women are more likely to experience menstrual cramps or prolonged pain if they have heavy periods, smoke, or drink alcohol. They're also more likely to experience them if they started their first period at an early age (younger than 11), or if their menstrual periods last five days or longer.

Most menstrual pain occurs during which phase of the cycle?

Most menstrual pain occurs during which phase of the cycle?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The menstrual period begins when the uterus sheds its lining, and this is when most menstrual pain occurs.

Acupressure and acupuncture can help prevent painful periods.

Acupressure and acupuncture can help prevent painful periods.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, acupressure and acupuncture may help relieve menstrual pain, but they cannot prevent it.

Which of the following may help ease menstrual pain?

Which of the following may help ease menstrual pain?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, thiamine (vitamin B1) may help ease menstrual pain, though it cannot prevent it. Thiamine can be found in cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. Vitamin B6 and calcium and magnesium supplements may also be helpful.

Meditation and other stress-reducing techniques can help ease menstrual pain.

Meditation and other stress-reducing techniques can help ease menstrual pain.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation and stress-reducing techniques can help ease menstrual pain. Exercise and getting enough sleep also can be helpful.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can ease menstrual pain. Which of the following is an example of an NSAID?

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can ease menstrual pain. Which of the following is an example of an NSAID?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are available over the counter for menstrual pain. They work best if you begin taking them as soon as symptoms appear or your period starts for the first few days of your period. Some people should not take NSAIDs. For example, you should not take NSAIDs if you have a bleeding disorder, ulcers, or kidney or liver damage. NSAIDs may also interact with other drugs you may be taking. Your health care provider can advise you on the safety of over-the-counter or prescription NSAID use.

Which of the following treatments for painful periods thins the inner lining of the uterus?

Which of the following treatments for painful periods thins the inner lining of the uterus?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Birth control pills and other methods of hormonal contraception help control the growth of the lining of the uterus so less prostaglandin is produced; less prostaglandin means fewer contractions and less pain.

Menstrual pain may ease after childbirth.

Menstrual pain may ease after childbirth.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Many women have less painful periods after childbirth, or as they get older.

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Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Now you know: Menstrual pain can be perfectly normal -- or the sign of a serious medical issue. Find out more by checking out our related links below.

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